Fear and nature

Velvet Queen Sunflowers
Non-menacing Velvet Queen Sunflowers

Childhood memory:  One day while playing on the farm, I pulled up a thick plastic mat that my grandpa had put over a muddy area so that the tractor wouldn’t get stuck in the mud.  To my delight, I found a nest of baby snakes!  I filled my pockets with them and ran home to show Mom.  The spanking that resulted left a memorable impression.

I had an exciting day today.  I was walking around in my garden, minding my own business, when I put my hand down into a patch of bush beans to see how the beans under the foliage were coming along.  Instinctively, I jumped back and squealed when I saw a coiled up snake right by where my hand had been.  I immediately ran to the house to get my phone to take a picture.  Then I got a rake and pulled the snake out to the path so I could see it’s markings and get better pictures.  It was only after I had done this that I did a google search to verify that I was playing with a copperhead and read that you shouldn’t poke at them with sticks because they can strike at long distances.

Then I did another silly thing.  I posted a picture on facebook.  Within seconds, several people commented with horror and fascination.  After two hours I had a long string of comments under my post: oohs and ahhhs, eeeks and yikes, advice, warnings, informative website links, and best of all, humor.  I admit, the snake posed handsomely and looked right at the camera, so this was a stellar picture.  Look it up if you like, but I’m not posting it here.  Instead you get my lovely Velvet Queen Sunflowers.

I began thinking about what I fear the most.  Even a picture of a spider terrifies me, so I felt a twinge of guilt about posting the scary snake picture and how I might have ruined someone’s day.  A big spider in close proximity will make me jumpy for hours.  Bad dreams ensue. Logic plays no part in fear.  I should’ve feared the snake but I didn’t.  I shouldn’t fear the spider but I do.  It’s easy to justify our fears and there is no end to the things to fear.

This post doesn’t have a moral, or even a point really.  I just get so excited when I have a wildlife sighting that I want to share it.  Encounters with creatures beyond our control make us feel alive!